We’re pretty lucky that here in Sydney we have some of the best darn pastry chefs in the country. From the genius that is the strawberry watermelon cake at Black Star Pastry, to that ginger tart at Bourke Street Bakery, here’s where to get a lil’sweet stuff in Sydney.
Penny Fours does the sticky bun of your dreams. Flaky, buttery pastry is dusted with cinnamon then lined with crushed walnuts, honey and maple syrup. It's wrapped around on itself and sealed with a light, sticky-sweet glaze on the outer shell. Cripes. Prefer the good bits in the middle? Order one of the subtly sweet brioche buns filled with a lightly whipped sour cream and sprinkled with brown sugar.
Remember when sweets were just sweets? Well, at this sugar paradise, everything is made from scratch, from the cakes and pastries through to the confectionery. Think rocky road with house-made marshmallows, crisp, ear-splittingly sweet caramel popcorn and soft, giving fruit jubes.
You’ve seen them on Instagram, and so have we. Sydney’s cutest desserts have landed (and for the first time ever, they're not at Black Star). Instead they’re from Doux Amour in Rosebery. They’re called cookie puffs but they’re actually refashioned éclairs – choux pastry spheres with a craquelin crust, filled with flavoured whipped creams. And the best bit? They’re made to look like super cute animals.
Step into La Banette and you could swear you’ve landed in a bakery in the south of France. It’s all in the décor – distressed wooden shelves holding crusty baguettes, wicker trays filled with flaky pastries and even a striped shop awning out the front that all exude French provincial charm. The gleaming window display holds an orgy of sweets: from thin, elegant chocolate éclairs to glazed fruit tarts and complex constructions of miniature gateaux.
Textbook Boulangerie-Patisserie in Alexandria is all about the French craft of bread and pastry. This means that not only does everything look stunning (think Adriano Zumbo but without it all being flavoured with kalamata olives and copyrighted with his name) but also, just like real French pâtisserie, the flavours are pared-back and elegant. Order everything.
The queue often stretches around the corner, but hell, it’s worth it. There’s nothing better than snagging a couple of pork and fennel or lamb and harissa sausage rolls, a loaf of sourdough, maybe some of their chorizo and thyme studded hot bread, and a tray of assorted sweets and cakes (we love the ginger brûlée tarts).
It's not every day you find yourself spending a delightful afternoon on the edge of a highway. But seated outside new café and flower shop Petal Met Sugar in Woolloomooloo, we find ourselves doing exactly that. Maybe it's the clean, white interior, the pale plywood furnishings, perhaps it's the formal, polite service or the glass teapots scattered with tea leaves. Whatever it is, it works. This place is all about delicacy and grace, so go with it. And do not leave without trying one of their beautiful cakes.
Mrs Jones comes to you from husband and wife team, Lucy and Barry Jones. It’s the window display of cakes that will stop you in your tracks – meringues dusted with cocoa; lush cakes and brownies; flaky croissants and chocolate-studded bickies. That's not to mention the breads piled up high behind the counter. The flourless chocolate cake is undoubtedly one of the best in Sydney: rich and melty and delightfully fluffy. Order it.